• What to Consider When Selecting a Daycare in Hoboken

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    There’s this universal, undeniable understanding that parenting is hard work. And it truly is.  When you’re a working parent, there’s another layer of decision-making that can feel a bit overwhelming — who will care for your child while you’re at work?  

    One of the “biggest” decisions that parenting requires is in selecting childcare. And for many, the best option for their family is daycare. {HG tip: Post on the local parent boards about the pros/cons of daycare vs. nanny AT YOUR OWN RISK!} But with SO many options to choose from in our own little mile square city, the daycare search can be quite overwhelming. Luckily, we’re here to help. We spoke with Holly Flanders, owner of Choice Parenting Childcare Coaching and Nanny Placement Agency for her expert advice.  Keep reading to discover what to consider when selecting a daycare in Hoboken. 

    day care info hoboken

    Hoboken Daycare 101

    While Hoboken used to be known for having the most bars in one square mile, there are also quite a bit of daycare options, too.  

    In fact, Flanders counts 24 of what she would consider “traditional” daycares in Hoboken — meaning they offer full-day infant care through three-year-old programming. Plus, there are a few other facilities that offer full or part-time learning plus childcare for toddlers or older children, like Kaplan, or Montessori. 

    With so many options to choose from, it’s important to focus on what makes a daycare different.

    “Daycares continuously need to maintain and improve the quality of teachers and the level of childcare and education. Competition in the market creates the urgency to offer specialized programs and perks in addition to the basics of care for children,” Flanders says. 

    See More: First-Time Mom Resources in Hoboken, Jersey City, + Beyond

    What to Consider

    For those in the midst of a daycare search, she outlines these as key things to consider:

    Location

    Is the facility located near your home, or at least along your commute?  Is it easily accessible with a stroller, even in bad weather? 

    Playground Options

    Flanders says, “There are very few daycares in Hoboken that have a private outdoor space so it’s important for parents to think about the local playground near the daycare and if they offer gated in area, proper shade and age-appropriate equipment, water park, grass, etc.” Does it get really busy? 

    Also, how often do children go outside as part of their daily program? What weather restrictions require them to stay indoors, and do they have “rainy day” plans and activities?

    Food

    This is a big one, especially for children eating solids and table foods — having to prepare their food each night or morning versus having it included in their care can be a big deal for many families. So ask yourselves, “What type of food and policies does this daycare offer? Are you able to bring in your own food options? Are you comfortable with the kitchen and menu prepared at the facility?”

    Also, how attentive are they to allergies or special dietary needs? Is the school peanut-free? 

    Toys and Books

    Engagement and play are so important for little ones. Instead of simply looking at the toy space, take some time to really check out what’s there. Ask yourself, “Are there age-appropriate and accessible books, toys, and varied activities for children to access throughout the day?” Also, be sure to ask how and how often are the toys cleaned? What is their method of sterilizing? How often are toys rotated or replaced?

    Educational Activities and Experiences

    Does the daycare offer regular experiences for the babies and children beyond playing with toys? Many places in town will have guest musicians, characters, storytimes, etc. 

    Flanders says to also ask, “Do they have daily circle time with music, instruments, books, and classroom experiences?” And, “Are the teachers given time, accountability and material to prepare art projects, sensory activities, and learning experiences?”

    Teachers and Caregivers

    Knowing the staff and employment requirements are essential to feeling comfortable and secure in knowing adequate care is being provided. After all, it’s important to know a bit about each and every person who will be responsible for taking care of your child. Flanders also recommends asking, “How long have the teachers been there? Do they appear to be happy and engaging the kids? Who prepares the curriculum, schedule, and activities? Do they have primary teachers and a good system to communicate with each other and the parents?”

    Also, ask about their certifications and training — are they first aid and CPR certified? 

    Important Regulations

    It’s really important to do research on each place you are considering, but it’s equally as important to know the basic daycare laws and regulations, too. {Some of which may be surprising.}

    Flanders says some state guidelines that daycares are required to follow for safe sleep, fire safety, outdoor time, and more may even feel like a bit of a hiccup to a parent’s schedule or routines and habits they have established with their child at home. 

    “Examples of this would be: you cannot use a swaddle, sleep sack, lovey in a daycare; your child make be woken from a nap or taken outside quickly in the snow without a coat for a monthly fire drill; walking children they must keep shoes on during nap time for precaution in case of evacuation; etc.” But knowing these things in advance can prevent any surprises down the line. 

    Staffing ratios are another important regulation.  “At a minimum, the student in an infant classroom is 4:1 and goes 8:1 by the 2-year-old stage,” Flanders says. Some local daycares strive to provide even smaller ratios wherever possible. 

    Read More: Preschool Prep Options in Hoboken For Toddlers + Kids

    Cost

    This is a big one. Childcare in our area is not cheap,  but then again, neither are rents, mortgages, takeout, or even a cup of coffee. 

    While Flanders says she does not have the most up to date data on the average cost because things are constantly changing and outliers can skew data, but on average, she says a privately operated, full-day infant program in Hoboken is in the $2,000-2,100 range. 

    The Bottom Line

    It’s important to research, take tours, and read up on the options that exist, but it’s also important to trust your mom and dad gut, too. Only you know what is best for your child. Also, know that you’re not alone. 

    Flanders says, “One of my favorite things about Hoboken is the strong parenting community and the many watchful eyes looking after the best interest of all children. The parent involvement holds daycares and all caregivers to a higher standard than other areas of the country.”

    What daycare tips do you have?

    Let us know in the comments! 

    Did you know: We started a podcast about all things news and lifestyle in Hoboken + Jersey City! Listen to the latest episode of Tea on the Hudson here and subscribe.

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    Written by:

    Erin is a freelance writer and lives in Hoboken with her husband and daughter. A proud Jersey Girl, she grew up in Central New Jersey but always had a love for Hudson County, with her father having grown up in Jersey City, and her grandfather proudly worked at Maxwell House for decades. Her words have been featured across many outlets including BRIDES, Allure, TeenVogue, The Today Show, Byrdie, and more. Erin also owns local Etsy shop GrandeGifts, and in her spare time can be found binging on all things Bravo.